Date of Award

Winter 2023

Project Type

Clinical Doctorate

College or School




Program or Major


Degree Name


First Advisor

Cathleen Colleran

Second Advisor

Deborah Simonton

Third Advisor

Pamela Kallmerten


Workplace Incivility (WI) is a well-known challenge in healthcare, with decades of mounting evidence showing the effects on workplace culture, healthcare worker retention and patient safety. The nursing workforce has become increasingly vulnerable to all stressful elements of the work environment. Organizational leadership must develop and deploy mitigation strategies to minimize the negative consequences of these behaviors for nurses, and the entire healthcare team. The purpose of this quality improvement project is to assess the current state of nurse perceptions of WI at a rural community hospital and deploy evidence-based education on strategies to address and mitigate WI. The method utilized a validated tool for measuring workplace incivility, the Short-Negative Acts Questionnaire (SNAQ-Appendix C), this tool was used pre and post intervention. Deployment of education for the leadership and nursing cohorts across campus included defining WI, with a current state assessment for the organization, education including a self-assessment, how to manage gossip, and respectful conversations in difficult situations. The S-NAQ pre-intervention assessment had a response rate of 23%, showing fairly significant levels of WI present at this organization in some categories. Gossip, exclusivity, offensive remarks & volatile reactions scored as the highest concerns for nurse respondents. Overall, the results of the S-NAQ post intervention showed changes in perception of WI behaviors by the nursing cohort in some areas, these changes could be the result of varying participation, as well as an increase in awareness of WI behaviors post education. Participants also reported an increased level of comfort in addressing gossip and initiating difficult conversations when WI behaviors occur in the work environment post education. In conclusion, assessing nursing perceptions of WI brings clarity to elements of WI that require increased focus and attention by the leadership team. Providing evidence based education on mitigation strategies to address high priority areas, may influence toward an improved culture of civility over time, by fostering professional behaviors and a language of collaboration.

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